We spent from 5.30am on Sunday morning at the local library, or biblioteca, less than 100m from my home in Sant Cugat del Vallès, a town of 87,000 just over the hill from Barcelona. My partner and her father are from the French part of Catalonia, or Catalunya Nord, as it’s known. None of us could vote in the independence referendum, but after the authoritarian behaviour of the Spanish authorities in recent weeks, we wanted to help protect the voting centres.
About a month ago, Deutsche Welle journalist Irene Quaile AKA Iceblogger wrote, in a piece titled Some Arctic good news – not #fakenews!
“With the environment and climate under constant fire from the actions of President Trump, it is great to end the week with a little piece of good news”.
What a year – moving countries, working for Antarctic and Arctic protection and joining the quest to halt international trade deals in between.
We’re all here, nose to tail, thanks to the “border controls” that the French government, brought into force following the Paris November 13th attacks. In a previous article, I documented my recent slow crossing from Belgium into France. That crossing was rip-roaringly rapid in comparison to today’s torpid crawl. This is the real deal, with three 120 kilometre-an-hour lanes slowed to nothing, then funneled into one. It’s a farce.
I wrote about this absurd situation at the Belgium-France Border, along with the anxiety of crossing a national border while carrying a piano, a collection of lampshades and a large collection of worms, over on blather.net. I’ve been running this website that I’ve been running since 1997. It’s been dormant for a while, but with the help of my co-editors, we’re slowly re-vitalising it.
Bonjour Monsieur, what do you have in the coffre?
I have a piano, several lampshades and a box of garden worms.
Ireland’s dear and glorious leader, Taoiseach Enda Kenny stood manfully astride the COP21 podium in Paris. Holding the lectern in a white-knuckled embrace, Enda rolled out Ireland’s comprehensive plan for taking global leadership on climate change, and he would personally corner Hollande, Obama, Merkel, Putin and Xi Jinping and the rest of them into finally saving the planet.
I paused at a crossroads. An image of a postcard flashed into my head. A postcard I received from my friend Donal, years and years ago. A black and white image showing two hands barely meeting across a map, with three commandments in red strips overlaid: Admit Nothing. Blame Everyone. Be Bitter.